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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Veikune, Unger get the call

David Veikune put the phone down and lined up his shot on the 13th hole at the Mililani Golf Club yesterday.

Trying to get his ball onto the green, he shanked his shot way off to the left.

And with that, his professional football career was under way.

The former Warriors defensive end was selected by the Cleveland Browns yesterday in the second round (52nd overall) of the NFL Draft.

Center Max Unger, a 2004 Hawaii Prep graduate, was also drafted yesterday in the second round, by the Seattle Seahawks with the 49th overall pick.

Veikune got the call while playing golf with his father and his girlfriend.

"I'm excited that I'm going to be playing with Cleveland and relieved that this whole draft process is finally over," he said.

Veikune, who describes his golf game as "pretty bad," was just thankful he got picked so he didn't have to go back out on the course again today.

"I was thinking, 'Man, I'm going to have to golf two days in a row if I don't get picked,'" said the Campbell High School graduate.

At 6-feet-2, 257 pounds, Veikune impressed scouts at the NFL Combine by bench-pressing 225 pounds 35 times, the third-most among defensive linemen.

Veikune said he spoke with Cleveland coach Eric Mangini before the draft.

"They definitely were one of the teams I thought where I'd go, but you never know until you get that phone call," he said.

As the 52nd overall pick, Veikune is just the 10th former UH player to be selected in the first two rounds of the draft and the first to be chosen that early since Travis LaBoy was taken by the Tennessee Titans with the 42nd overall pick in 2004.

Ashley Lelie remains the only UH player to be picked in the first round.

Veikune heads to Cleveland for the first day of Browns rookie camp on Thursday.

Unger was a two-time All-Pac-10 offensive lineman at Oregon, where he started 50 consecutive games

The Seahawks traded their third- and fourth-round picks to the Bears to get Unger, who can play anywhere on the offensive line.

Players with Hawaii ties expected to be drafted today include former Warriors Ryan Mouton and Jake Ingram and Southern California linebacker Kaluka Maiava, a 2005 graduate of Baldwin High on Maui.

Former Warriors selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft

Name Pos. Year Team #
Golden Richards WR 1973 Dallas 46
Jeris White DB 1974 Miami 52
Walter Murray WR 1986 Wash. 45
Adrian Klemm OT 2000 N.E. 46
Ashley Lelie WR 2002 Denver 19
Pisa Tinoisamoa LB 2003 St. Louis 43
Travis LaBoy DE 2004 Tenn. 42
Samson Satele C 2007 Miami 60
Ikaika Alama-Francis DE 2007 Detroit 58
David Veikune DE 2009 Clev. 52

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